Free things to do in Whanganui: Titoki Wetland (local content)

Just on the Tawhero/Castlecliff border lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by gaggle of tiny explorers: Titoki Wetland.  I don’t know why this place isn’t to be found in any ‘what to do in Whanganui‘ blurb because these wetlands are a great place to take your kids as soon as they can walk.

Titoki Wetlands entrance on Titoki St, Tawhero/Castlecliff

Titoki Wetlands entrance on Titoki St, Tawhero/Castlecliff

The entrance to Titoki Wetland is located on Titoki St, and was developed into an area for all to enjoy by the residents of Titoki Street and the Whanganui District Council.  I had no idea this place existed until we drove past it a few weeks ago when I accompanied some friends who were looking to buy a house in that area.  I filed it away as a ‘thing to possibly do with my toddler’, et voila!  Today was the day.

The wetland is not huge, about the size of a couple of generous paddocks.  Sausage and I had loads of fun and I’m sure we will come back many, many times as she gets older to look at the different foliage, bugs and to stomp on the boardwalk like the Billy Goats Gruff.

Here we go stomping, stomping, stomping...

Here we go stomping, stomping, stomping…

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The boardwalk goes off in a loop around the wetlands and is in definite need of repair.  It looks like a giant stomped a little too hard on several boards as they are very broken.  However, Sausage is fairly deft on her feet so the broken boards weren’t a hindrance to her fun (I must ring the Council though…).

Because of its small size the wetland is perfect to take very young children to.  There’s no chance they will get tired or lost walking around.  I’m sure it gets boggy in Winter, but at other times the boardwalk isn’t necessary.  You don’t have to worry about your tot falling off the edge into water because the boardwalk is almost entirely surrounded by grass.  We went ‘off piste’ and had no trouble at all.

Look Mum, no boardwalk!

Look Mum, no boardwalk! 

The wetland is teeming with wildlife and filled with all the interesting plants that just love swampy ground.  Sausage spent ages touching the ‘spiky’ flax and bracken, and went home clutching an array of flowers in her little fist.DSCN9591

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There is a pond (although hard for little ones to see over the foliage) which had several water birds taking a dip.

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And when you’re done exploring, there’s even a picnic table to rest on and recover.

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Pros: 

  • Quiet and peaceful
  • A really different environment for kids to explore in all seasons
  • Reasonably safe for those new to walking
  • Should keep toddlers and primary school aged kids quite happy

Cons:

  • Broken boards are a bit of a hazard
  • Probably not exciting enough for 10 years +

 

 

Tots in Tawhero rating: 9/10

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